Slovak home design - folk fantasy

Cicmany Travel Blog

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I headed north from Bojnice and into the twisties of the mountains. There were many motorcycles out enjoying the twisties as well. The scenery was dramatic. One moment it was cliffside motoring and the next fields and rolling hills…..both my favs.

Out in the middle of nowhere, which is pretty much everywhere I was driving on this day, or even more “nowhere” than usual, I had to stop at the breathtaking sight of a colorful meadow and the mountains in the distance. These views are one of the reasons I came. I had to stop and take it in.

I entered a village with almost symbols painted on the houses…….I must be in Cicmany. I read about this place and had to come.

Unlike some of the other outdoor museums that are made of houses brought together from different places, this is a village as it is. These are people’s houses and businesses. It’s real life. Cicmany is an amazing place to enjoy design and culture. It’s not there for tourists, it’s just their history and it’s wonderful.

The houses are all dark stained wood and have Slovak craftsy looking design elements painted all over them. It’s such a visual treat.

Situated in the Strazovske Vrchy Mountains, Cicmany was settles in the 15th century by the Bulgarians who fled the Turkish invasion. They came to the region and started decorating their houses with Balkan-style folk motifs. The dark wooden walls were painted with white designs” abstract geometric shapes, crosses, hearts, squiggles, and swirls. The embellishments were not only decorative but, useful as well.

The white paint is a lime varnish applied to protect the wood from natural decay. The designs are inspired by patterns embroidered into local folk costumes.

One of the houses is set up as a shop for tourists. They offer art and crafts made by locals. The goods are unique to the region and are of good quality at good prices. The prices are cheaper than Bratislava but, this is a long way from the big city. I found many things to capture my interest. The best of which is a mug that I had not purchased in Bratislava due to it’s steep price…..well, they had one (not the same as all are unique) that was amazing and 1/3 of the price! That’s my treat for Rob. He will love it. The shop did also have a little wooden house (really made of wood) that was painted with the style of a specific house in the town. They had several to choose from so you could pic your fav house and take home a souvenir…nice!

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photo by: delsol67